Dulce de Leche: Recipes, Stories, & Sweet Traditions, written by Josephine Caminos Oría, features the versatile South American Dulce de Leche in 80 authentic and unique recipes. Highlights include Dulce de Leche Hot Chocolate, Alfajores, Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños, Grilled Peach Pizzas, Apricot Bread Pudding, and Helado de Dulce de Leche. I will also be sharing her recipe for Buñuelos with Brown Velvet Glaze following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Burgess Lea Press in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Josephine Caminos Oría
Josephine Caminos Oría was born in La Plata, Buenos Aires in Argentina. She moved to the United States with her family and now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and five children. She was influenced in the kitchen by her grandmother Dorita and founded La Dorita, a small-batch all-natural line of Dulce de Leche products, in 2009 with her husband, Gastón.
Dulce de Leche
In this book, Josephine demonstrates that Dulce de Leche isn’t only made for sweet treats. It also has a place in enhancing savory dishes and produce. Dulce de Leche is a spreadable, creamy milk jam created by slowly cooking fresh milk and sugar on the stove until thickened. It originated in Argentina, but there are versions throughout Latin America with variations from the name to the type of milk used.
Store-bought has become more readily available in American grocery stores, but there isn’t much better than homemade. Josephine’s recipes for homemade Dulce de Leche create a less sweet and more flavorful option without the additional additives.
She includes basic recipes for Dulce de Leche Clásico (traditional), Dulce de Leche con Miel (uses raw honey instead of sugar), Dulce de Leche Criollo (burnt caramel), Dulce de Leche con Chocolate (dark chocolate), and Dulce de Leche Repostero (thicker for baked goods). Each recipe takes around 2 hours and makes about 6 cups of Dulce de Leche.
Chapters are divided based on course: Dulce de Leche Casero (Essential, From Scratch Foundation Recipes), En El Desayuno (At Breakfast), En La Merienda (At Afternoon Tea or Coffee), En La Picada (On Small Plates), En La Cena (At Dinner), and En La Mesa de Postre (At the Dessert Table).
While there are no photographs, the book does contain illustrations by Kate Forrester– from the cover to the decorative borders and drawings of a few of the recipes. I also loved the actual quality of the book. The hardback cover has a cushiony feel and the paper is heavy and durable with orange edges.
Measurements are provided in US Customary. The name of each dish is listed in English and/or Spanish. Every recipe includes a headnote with background information and serving size. Along with her delicious recipes, Josephine also provides little insights into her family, life with her grandmother, and traditions surrounding food.
Buñuelos with Brown Velvet Glaze
Variations of Buñuelos occur throughout Latin America and a few other countries around the world. In the Argentine version, the Buñuelo resembles the Italian Zeppole and the dough is created in a similar manner to a Churro.
Flour is mixed into the wet ingredients on the stove first (pâte à choux), before beating in the eggs until smooth and almost cake batter-like in consistency. Forming the dough on the stove first gives the Buñuelos that light and airy texture. Spoonfuls of the dough are dropped in hot oil and fried until golden, then tossed in orange sugar.
When combining the orange zest with with sugar, I used my fingertips to rub them together until well blended to help enhance the flavor.
For this recipe, the Dulce de Leche is incorporated into the Brown Velvet Glaze. After creating a chocolate ganache, butter and the Dulce de Leche are mixed in to form a shiny, smooth accompaniment to the Buñuelos. This glaze is made as the last few Buñuelos are frying since it will harden as it cools to room temperature. It can be reheated in a double boiler on the stove.
I also made Dulce de Leche con Chocolate (Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche), Torta de Nuez, Double-Chocolate Brownies, and Glazed Carrots.
Dulce de Leche con Chocolate is created by mixing unsweetened cocoa powder into the milk mixture towards the end of cooking. I enjoyed it as a sweet spread on croissants for breakfast. Josephine mentions that it reminds her of the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread and I definitely agree. She recommends heating it in a fondue pot to pair with angel food cake and seasonal fruits.
The Torta de Nuez is a nut cake from Josephine’s Grandma Dorita. The rich cake is filled with walnuts and served with traditional dulce de leche or dark chocolate dulce de leche (I used both). It is the perfect accompaniment to special occasions, breakfast, or as an afternoon snack.
The Double-Chocolate Brownies are a rich, indulgent treat to help satisfy those chocolate cravings. The gooey brownie base is swirled with a thin layer of dulce de leche before baking for an extra boost of flavor and richness.
I stuck mostly to the sweet offerings in the book, but also made the Glazed Carrots for a more savory note. These carrots don’t take much effort and would be a great side for the holiday table. Peeled carrots are boiled until just tender and tossed in a butter, dulce de leche, and lemon coating before garnishing with parsley. Claire especially loved these.
Looking for more recipes from Argentina?
- Pasta Frola (Argentinian Lattice Tart)
- Milanesa a Caballo (Argentinian Milanesa on Horseback)
- Tortitas Negras (Argentinian Little Black Cakes)
Dulce de Leche is a great pick for those who love Dulce de Leche and are looking for more ways to incorporate it in their cooking and baking. Recipes range from easy with minimal effort to more complex and impressive dishes. Many would be perfect for holidays and celebrations with family.
The instructions for all of the recipes I tried were well-written and easy to follow. Most of the ingredients can be found in the average American grocery store.
Buñuelos with Brown Velvet Glaze Recipe
Excerpt from Dulce de Leche
Buñuelos with Brown Velvet Glaze
For the dough:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons orange zest divided
- Canola oil for frying
For the Brown Velvet Glaze:
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces 60% cacao chocolate coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup traditional dulce de leche
Make the dough:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour all at once until combined. Return the pan to low heat and stir continuously until the mixture forms a ball, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and using an electric handheld mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Add 1 tablespoon of the orange zest and beat until smooth.
- In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the remaining tablespoon orange zest and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360˚F on a candy thermometer. (If you do not have a thermometer, you can test to see whether the oil is hot enough by adding a drop of the dough; if it buttbles and immediately rises to the top, the oil is sufficiently hot.)
- Using a small ice-cream scoop or 2 small spoons, carefully drop three or four 1-tablespoon mounds of dough into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the buñuelos, turning them once or twice with a slotted spoon, about 5 minutes until golden and puffed up.
- Transfer with the slotted spoon to the orange sugar and toss to coat, then put on a serving platter. Continue to fry and coat the remaining dough in the same manner.
While frying the last batch, prepare the glaze:
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream over low heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, then pour into a large heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 minute.
- Add the chocolate all at once and stir together with a rubber spatula. Put the bowl over a pan with simmering (not steaming) water and stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add the butter in small chunks, stirring until incorporated, and the dulce de leche, then pour the glaze through a sieve into a small bowl to obtain a velvety shine.
- Serve immediately as a dip for the buñuelos. As the glaze cools, it will thicken. If necessary, reheat in a metal bowl over a double boiler. As the glaze warms through, it will turn glossy once again.